Beirut-born architect Hala Wardé has won the competition to design BeMA: Beirut Museum of Art, a new institution set to open in 2020. The design’s most notable features are a nearly 400-foot tower with workshop and performance spaces and a public garden with an amphitheater.
Wardé’s firm, HW Architecture, was founded in 2008 and is located in Paris. Wardé herself has been in charge of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project since its founding in 2006. She has long collaborated with French architect Jean Nouvel, with whom she developed recent projects like London’s One New Change office and retail facility and the mixed-use Landmark development in Beirut.
“I am delighted and honored to realize my first major project in the city of Beirut where I was born, on such an exceptional site,” said Wardé in an announcement. Referring to the Université Sant-Joseph, on whose land the project is sited, she added, “This museum program, in connection with the university, will allow us to create a new cultural and social space with a garden and amphitheater, and will single out this artistic territory with a strong and recognizable urban beacon, which through its multiple expressions, will belong to the new urban landscape of the city.”
The museum is sited on what was a dividing line between opposing forces in the Lebanese Civil War, and will focus on modern and contemporary Lebanese and regional art. It is a project of the non-profit organization APEAL, the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of Arts in Lebanon.
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